Today ended much better than it began. It kicked off with me sat in a hospital room in my undies surrounded by women and ended with three quarters of my new family at home. I should explain the beginning otherwise it sounds like the opening scene of a low budget ‘film’ on Men And Motors.
I’ve been staying in my wife’s room and we were woken up first thing by Ben crying for a feed. So I jumped up but before I could get to his cot the midwife had turned up to do my wife’s checks. So I sat back down on my fold up bed and tried to cover my modesty with the hospital-issue sheet. The sheet had other ideas and slid down between the bed and the wall so I just sat there and crossed my arms over my chest and crotch like Barbara Windsor on Carry On Camping.
Then another midwife came in, followed by the cleaner. I was feeling pretty exposed already when the catering lady appeared and started reading out the food choices for the day. I ordered the macaroni cheese while blushing like a tomato caught picking his nose. Then a student midwife arrived taking the female tally in the room to six – I felt like a streaker at a netball match.
After visiting Zac at Alder Hey (fully clothed) I made the final journey back up to our room at the Women’s with one of the car seats that had done nothing so far except take up space.
I carried it to our room with such glee that I bashed it into the corner of the lift door, blurting out ‘Don’t worry, it’s empty!’ to the doctor who shot me a disapproving look. I decided I should definitely be more careful once he was in it but it was the giddiness that caused me to be so clumsy – the last time I was that excited carrying something upstairs was Christmas 1985 when I got my Commodore 64.
I scooped Ben up and carefully put him into the seat. He didn’t look comfortable but all I cared about was his safety for the upcoming car journey home. Those pesky speedbumps were tackled in a completely different manner to the last time. This time the car tyres caressed the speedbumps as I drove like I was back in the slow bike race in sports day.
And now we’re home. Well, most of us. Zac is still recovering at Alder Hey as he now battles with the yellow bastard of jaundice. So we’re still incomplete which made bringing Ben into the family home for the first time less than triumphant than I'd imagined. We’ve decided not to put the cards up until we’re all together, it wouldn’t feel right.
As I write this my wife is enjoying a well deserved doze on the sofa while I watch over Ben who’s dribbling like Lionel Messi. We want Zac home too but after the last 10 days this will do for now.